"An Endangered Species Act listing for the lesser prairie chicken is either a death knell for the U.S. oil boom or business as usual for energy developers and landowners in the southern Great Plains. It depends on whom you ask.
The Fish and Wildlife Service by March 30 must decide whether to list the ground-dwelling grouse as threatened, a decision that follows a years-long scramble by states, energy companies and farmers to preserve its native grassland and prairie habitat.
Many fear a listing would hobble federal permitting of drilling projects, drive away developers and diminish property values. But for scores of energy companies and landowners who have agreed to pre-emptively conserve chicken habitat, things may not change much at all."